View Poll Results: Should Israel keep or return the Golan Heights?

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  • Yes, in return for a comprehensive peace treaty

    34 37.78%
  • No, rightfully conquered territory / would make Israel more vulnerable

    56 62.22%
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Thread: Should Israel return the Golan Heights to Syria?

  1. #1
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Should Israel return the Golan Heights to Syria?

    In the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, the Israeli military captured the strategically important Golan Heights from Syria. It was then annexed by Israel in 1981. Syria has demanded that Israel return 100% of the Golan Heights in return for a peace treaty and recognition. Do you think that Israel ought to retain the Golan Heights, or return it to Syria for a comprehensive peace agreement? Would such a peace treaty truly bring security to Israel, or would a return of the Golan Heights increase Israel's strategic vulnerability?
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  2. #2
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    If it means peace between Israel and Syria, like REAL long-lasting peace, then yes I think Israel should return it.

    EDIT: Wait, after reading Brit's post, how strategic and important is this Golan Heights to Israel or Syria?
    Last edited by Mobbme; 09 Jan 09, at 13:18.

  3. #3
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    Possession is 9 tenths of the law!

    The blood that was spilled to obtain that strategic piece of high ground is all the reason they need to keep it.

    Trust Syria? Sure!

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor Yusuf's Avatar
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    Whats the guarantee that Syria will honor its commitment? Its like Pakistan asking India to vacate Siachin in return for peace.

    Such strategic possessions cannot be returned.

  5. #5
    Senior Contributor Castellano's Avatar
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    If I were an Israeli I would say:

    NO.

    There used to be an adagio heard about the euphemistically called "Arab-Israeli" conflict: There cannot be War without Egypt or Peace without Syria.

    I think that is doubtful.

    But what I have in mind doesn't have to do with that. Is just the fact that even if an honest Peace deal can be reached with the present regime in Syria, something doubtful in itself, there is no guarantee the regime will survive. So there is no guarantee the Peace would last.

    When Syria becomes a somewhat Democratic State, based on some kind of consensual Government YES, by all means, if necessary go for it.
    Last edited by Castellano; 09 Jan 09, at 13:27.

  6. #6
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    i dont think it would be wise to return Golan heights. Signing peace agreement with Syria can always change with a new Govt In power. For instance I dont believe that Ahmadinejad would have recognized any prior peace agreement between Israel and Iran before he took Power. Golan height will bring Syria closer to Israel.
    Last edited by sam milla; 09 Jan 09, at 13:25.

  7. #7
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    I wonder what the peace-talk between Israel and Syria can be about?

    But I bet Israel don't know what they are doing. Right?

    It must be better to have a perpetual state of war then peace. Look how bad the peace Egypt and Jordan has been. Those constant attacks along these borders is amazing. Right? And Egypt and Jordan gives constant support to Hamas against Israel. Eeh wait a minute, isn't it the otherway around?

    And what do we need International Laws for? Only when the winner wants to punish the loser is it a good thing to dust off any convinient "International Law" for use. The winner of a war is always right. Right?

    Wasn't that what Hitler said? Lets attack Poland and annex it. That gives Germany the right to keep it. Not only does Germany need a corridor to secure East Prussia, it also demands "liebensraum". And think of all the german soldiers that so heroicly died when Germany fight for the Poland and what was rightfully theirs. That means that German has all right to keep it too. Nice logic buddy!

  8. #8
    Muganga Military Professional JOgershok's Avatar
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    At the risk of stating the obvious, this is a no brainer.

    No f$%^ing way should Israel give back the high ground which would be their demise. Trust who?

  9. #9
    Regular PanSonic's Avatar
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    Eventually Yes.
    This is not the time, since Syria is still very hostile, and is not western enough unlike Jordan and Egypt.
    I don't believe witches and turns in a moment.

  10. #10
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    No! What previous peace agreements have been honored by the terrorists? As stated, it's a "no brainer" as is liberalism.

  11. #11
    Muganga Military Professional JOgershok's Avatar
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    Since Western thinking is dominated in rationality, this might seem like the "right thing to do." That said, the Arab world does not think like us and do not rely upon "reason", as we know it, to make their decisions. Does anyone recall that the US never expected Japan to attack us because we never would have considered it.

  12. #12
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    Possibly yes, it would depend what Israel could get for it and what the guarantees it could arrange. Obviously any return would require demilitarization and probably observers. By international law Israel has no right to the Golan and though it is ofen ignored by Israel's friends, Israel started the 67 war by pearl harbouting the Egyptian Air force. Should note that prior to the War according to the UN 65 of the flareups were caused by the Israelis and 4 by the Syrians. Moyshe Dayan even boasted in the New York Times about Israeli pre war provacations so I think Syria has not been particularly aggressive. Militarily Syria isn't remotely in Israel's league either in scale or armament. Syria has been reletively pragmatic in its relatinships. It has had a long undisturbed border with Turkey for many years. Its alliance with Iran is probably more out of necessity than shared political beliefs. Syria is the last of the alliance that formed to prevent Israel from being carved out of Palestine. Egypt and Jordan have been brought to heel with American money or at least thier governments have. Egypt has been a reliable support for Israel in a land(plus American money) for peace deal. Syria's last outside support the USSR is long gone. When the neocons started their sabre rattling Iran was the only possible partner. Althouigh the leadership is Alawīs Shia the majority 74% is Sunni next Christian 10% and they don't share Irans extreme Shiite religious outlook and the government is secular. It is a secular repressive dictatorship more so than Egypt and Jordan but not a lot. Certainly it isn't the brutal religious dictatorship that Saudi Arabia is. My guess is if they had confidence they could get the same deal deal as Egypt they would jump at it. They supported pushing Israel out of Lebenon and keeping it out. If a commitment could be got keeping Israel out of Lebenon I suspect they would be satisfied. Hamas is more problamatic since because Syria received Palestinian refugees that originated from the ethnic cleansing used to create Israel so there is a certain amount of natural support. My guess is though that other than some political(providing leader refuge) and intelligence support Hamas doesn't get that much from Syria. Syria has in general been more supportive by not isolating refugees and providing government services. They currently are having trouble though accomodating the about 1.2 million Iraqi refugees(this includes almost all the Iraqi Christians) resulting from the American invation of Iraq.

    Net I think it is worth pursuing because I think in the medium term it might detach Syria from Iran, provide a stable border for Israel, ultimately put Syria in the same catagory as Egypt, reduce supplies to Hezbollah. The alternative is a continuation of status quo were I think the weight of history is against Israel. This approach could chip away at the mess created by the neocons and possibly isolate Iran some time in the future. Against this is is the overthrough of the current Syrian government which has a somewhat narrow tribal base. If this were to happen the only alternative organized group would be the religious associated with the muslim brotherhood a close friend of Hamas. This however true of all the secular governments in the region because these governments eliminate the liberal democrats as is the case in Egypt and Jordan and was the case in Iran, the only organized group that is left is the religious who they can't eliminate. What this would suggest is that any overthrow of the current Syrian government is more likely to help the Iranians unless the US wishes to try occupying Syria also.

  13. #13
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    Land for peace seems a reasonable idea. The Israelis did the same for Egypt so why not the Syrians.

    Even if it won't happen outright since there are many interests at stake like water resources, strategic locations and settlers.

  14. #14
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    Hi
    I do agree,I did vote for a conserted peace but only on very very long and lasting peace with full trading and commercial treaties.
    I feel that both sides can give the area stability.
    But still Israel is the only Democratic Country in the area.
    Iraq is not in the equation at the moment.

  15. #15
    WAB BOUNCER Senior Contributor Stan187's Avatar
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    No.

    It is the high ground, and that in and of itself is the guarantee of security. A guarantee of security that you can trust, as opposed to Syrian promises. Syria used to shoot rockets, artillery and sniper fire from there. They lost they ground, and should learn their lesson for the future.

    What purpose do the Syrians needs it for again? Other than it's strategic position, it is not a valuable piece of land for Syria, there is no oil, no nothing. On the other hand if Syria has it, it puts Israel into a jeopardizing situation not just by potential positioning of Syrian forces, but also within reach of Israel's main fresh water supply. It would be stupid stupid move for the Israelis to give it away.
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